Pennsylvania Fire Departments Reacts To Thunder Controversy

The Pennsylvania State Police say three Johnstown volunteer fire companies were cheated out of $54,000 in beer sales during last summer's Thunder in the Valley and you may be surprised by what officials of one of the companies had to say about it

Last week, the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement accused three employees from the Johnstown/Cambria County Convention and Visitors Bureau of illegally keeping thousands of dollars from the volunteer departments.

The CVB's Executive Director, Lisa Dailey, and two other CVB employees, Karen Soliday and Mary Jane Korenski, are charged with conspiracy and will face a preliminary hearing in January. State Police say those employees could have corrected the situation before criminal charges were filed, but that never happened.

For the first time, Monday night, the Oakland Fire Volunteer Department voiced their opinion.

"We discussed the event during our monthly meeting and while I can't comment on anything until we meet with our attorneys, we do stand in support of Lisa, Janey, and Karen. We've worked well with the CVB before and we intend to work with them in the future," says Oakland Fire Chief Tom Callihan.

According to attorneys for the CVB, they kept the money to pay for expenses, everything from security to Porta-Johns, which is illegal, because the only agency who can profit from a liquor license is the owner of the license, which in this case is the fire department.

The Geistown Volunteer Fire Department also had their monthly meeting Monday night. President Scott Shaw said he chose not to comment because nothing would be gained.

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